Following yesterday’s announcement by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) of the twelve UK contemporary music albums making the finals of this year’s Mercury Music Prize, Ladbrokes has placed UK Grime artist Stormzy as 7/2 favourite to win the coveted award.
Should the BPI Mercury jury award Stormzy’s ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’, the South London rapper will become the second UK Grime act to win a ‘Mercury’, following last year’s surprise victory by Skepta for ‘Konnichiwa’ beating the heavily backed ‘Blackstar’ by David Bowie.
Jessica Bridge Head of PR for Ladbrokes detailed “It should come as little surprise to see Stormzy storm to the top of the betting. He’s the hottest act in the entire music scene at the moment, not just grime, and at this stage we reckon he’ll be walking away with the main prize.”
However, the Mercury Prize is no stranger to upsets and controversy. Since its inception in 1992, the award which features a ‘closed judging panel’ that selects its winner during the ceremony, has had little respect for those deemed ‘favourites’.
As such, Ladbrokes has placed London and Sierra Leon ‘experimental soul’ singer ‘Sampha’ Sisay as 4/1 second Mercury favourite for his album ‘Process’, which has received international recognition from Kanye West and Drake.
However, in a politically driven year for UK culture and music, could Brockley’s poet/rapper/playwright Kate Tempest grab the judging panel’s attention on the night and take home the Mercury. Ladbrokes has placed Tempest’s ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’ as 6/1 third favourite.
Of all twelve finalists, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Divided’ is by far the highest selling album which has surpassed 1 million sales in the UK alone. However, the Mercury jury is unlikely to be swayed by record sales alone, at present Ladbrokes places the Sheeran as a 14/1 market outsider.
Ladbrokes Mercury Prize 2017 Market